Hardly a week passes without another report of a Palestinian killed while fighting for the Islamic State terror group.
The reports have raised deep concern among many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A recent report estimated that some 100 Palestinians have already joined Islamic State. Other reports claim that the number is much higher.
According to the report, most of the Palestinians who joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are from the Gaza Strip. Another 1000 Palestinian men are believed to be preparing to join Islamic State, but have been unable to fulfill their dream for various reasons, the report revealed.
It is no surprise that most of the Palestinians who have joined the Islamic State are from the Gaza Strip, which has been under the control of Hamas since 2007. [...]
→ Click here for the complete article by Khaled Abu Toameh.
Those who hate Israel use anti-Zionist Jews as examples to “prove” that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. As can be seen from the high proportion of Jews among the fake peace activists who are anti-Israel extremists and Hamas apologists, anti-Zionist Jews play an important role in the international coalition aiming to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state. As the theory goes, since there are Jews who hate Israel then hating Israel is not anti-Semitic. “Are you telling me that these Jews are anti-Semitic?” anti-Zionists ask with a sneer. Yes actually, that is exactly what I am telling you. Anti-Zionist Jews are anti-Semites, just like all the other anti-Zionists.
According to Bernard Lewis, a professor emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, anti-Semites believe that Jews must be “judged by a standard different from that applied to others”. The website “Dictionary.com” defines anti-Semitism as “discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews”. These definitions do not require that anti-Semites hate all individual Jews, which is the naïve definition of anti-Semitism that anti-Zionists would like us to use. Except for a tiny minority of truly self-hating Jews, anti-Semitic Jews do not hate themselves; they in fact have an over-inflated opinion of themselves, imagining that they are the only real Jews, the saviors of Jewish morality, and the self-sacrificing defenders of peace. [...]
→ Click here for the complete article by Fred Maroun.
For Obama, having lost control over both the Congress and the Senate at the end of last year, it’s been even more of a challenge not to spend his remaining time in office as a lame duck.
The deal with Iran – or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in Vienna on July 14 – is a done deal. Without going into the merits and shortcomings of the deal itself, it marks an unexpected yet clear trend. In a matter of a couple of months, US President Barack Obama became an advantage for Democratic candidates running in the 2016 US presidential election race.
This continues to amaze people in Washington, D.C., as well as globally, considering it was just eight months ago that candidates running for the Senate and Congress asked Obama’s team for the president to refrain from publicly endorsing them, let alone join their canvassing efforts. Now Hillary Clinton endorses the deal with Iran, and her campaign policy chief, Jake Sullivan, adds how central Clinton was to “building… the coalition and starting the diplomacy that resulted in what happened today.” Running for the party leadership and country’s presidency to her left, Senator Bernie Sanders naturally hailed the Iran pact as a “victory for democracy.”
It is not that the pact isn’t controversial, but rather Obama’s recent record on various issues has made his presidency a source for pride.
The Knesset decided on June 15, 2015, to further the Temporary Order – literally an “Order of the Hour” in Hebrew – as part of the Citizenship and Entry Law into Israel, which had originally been accepted in 2003. The order forbids Palestinians from the occupied territories to marry Israeli citizens (Palestinian citizens of Israel).
The background to the decision is known: since 1967 Israel has occupied the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza. In 1993 the PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, announced the organization’s recognition of the State of Israel and its readiness to forfeit the armed struggle against it, thereby creating a genuine path to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Five years were afforded by the Interim Agreement signed in Oslo to formulate a permanent settlement between the two peoples. In the course of those five years prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, a wave of terrorism from messianic and hyper-nationalist groups who opposed any compromise had swept over the land, Israeli settlements expanded rapidly in the heart of Palestinian territories, the new Israeli prime minister at the time – Benjamin Netanyahu – declared that he had successfully “blocked” the Oslo process, and the corrupted and cowardly leadership of Arafat led to the breakout of a second intifada.
We, Israeli citizens as well as the asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan, ought not to fight against each other. We need to fight together for a solution.
A modest party had been arranged for the graduation of an asylum seeker from Darfur, upon his receiving an MA in conflict resolution from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.
A video that went viral on social media shows how fast the Israel Police was to join the celebration: its officers arrived shortly before 11 p.m. Initially they demanded the music be toned down. Once that happened, the party was dispersed, and the officers required everyone to step outside one at a time. Any non-white attendee had to present his/her visa, in what has been described as a scary and humiliating experience. Five attendees were arrested and might end up in the Saharonim detention facility for an unknown time.
Whenever I have received a call from a listener to my radio show challenging Israel’s legitimacy, I have asked these people if they ever called a radio show to challenge any other country’s legitimacy. In particular, I ask, have they ever questioned the legitimacy of Pakistan?
The answer, of course, is always “no.” In fact, no caller ever understood why I even mentioned Pakistan. There are two reasons for this.
First, of all the 200-plus countries in the world, only Israel’s legitimacy is challenged. So mentioning any other country seems strange to a caller. Second, almost no one outside of India and Pakistan knows anything about the founding of Pakistan.
Only months before the U.N. adopted a proposal to partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state in 1947, India was partitioned into a Muslim and Hindu state. The Hindu state was, of course, India. And the Muslim state became known as Pakistan. It comprises 310,000 square miles, about 40,000 square miles larger than Texas.
In both cases, the declaration of an independent state resulted in violence. As soon as the newly established state of Israel was declared in May 1948, it was invaded by six Arab armies. And the partition of India led to terrible violence between Muslims and Hindus. [...]
→ Click here for the complete article by Dennis Prager.
An Apology to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Bill Maher and Other So-Called Islamophobes.
For years I was an apologist for Islam, as regrettably, many still remain. I only read books and believed those who painted Islam in a peaceful, glowing light. I made excuses for radical Muslims and lived in a flood of denial that religious teachings could still, in this modern age of drones and clones, motivate a person to commit evil. I criticized the numerous atheists including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, and Bill Maher warning of the dangers inherent in Islamic doctrines, recklessly labeling them Islamophobes.
Today I’m writing to say I’m sorry, I apologize, and I ask for your forgiveness. We who have blindly defended Islam and called you Islamophobes are tragically wrong. [...]
→ Click here for the complete article by Mike Dobbins.
After the winners are done gloating, and the losers are through with feeling bitter, I am left with three wishes: First I ask the center-left (of which I’m part of): respond democratically. Of course we must avoid joining a coalition headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, and not to exchange the vision we campaigned with for small-political gains. There is also no point in inner battles within our camp at this stage. All in all, Bibi’s startling rise from 18 to 30 seats left some of us blind to the fact that the absolutist, messianic and ultra-orthodox right-wing bloc had actually shrunk by four seats when compared to the previous Knesset. Our way forward must respect the people’s choice and present a bold opposition in parliament.
Even more importantly, we should turn to substantially engage new audiences, which did not trust us with their vote. We should do it now, not only in four years as part of the next elections campaign. We must build a deeper and wider partnership around our shared values and political programs, and this can only truly happen on the grassroots level: through labour unions, youth movements, the media and civil society organizations. It must occur as a dialectic process, which encourages versatile ethnic and religious groups and different economic sectors to take a meaningful and equal seat at our table. We cannot expect new crowds to simply follow us – we need to be ready to let them co-lead.
For half a century, memories of the Holocaust limited anti-Semitism on the Continent. That period has ended—the recent fatal attacks in Paris and Copenhagen are merely the latest examples of rising violence against Jews. Renewed vitriol among right-wing fascists and new threats from radicalized Islamists have created a crisis, confronting Jews with an agonizing choice. [...]
→ Click here for the complete article by Jeffrey Goldberg.
The gathering of Israel from the Diaspora is a biblical promise which has comforted Jews from the time of Babylonian exile, through the early days of the Zionist movement and right up to such recent anti-Semitic attacks as in Copenhagen and Paris. The passage in Deuteronomy 30:1-5 ends with the promise of better life for anyone who makes the journey from “the end of the heavens” to the land of Israel. In the 12th century, the great philosopher Maimonides concluded that messiah alone would ingather the exiles. For new immigrants (olim), the Jewish Agency takes on the role of messiah, and once here it is up to them, along with the native Jews and Arabs of the land, to fulfill the divine promise and realize a good life.
From day one, Israeli society reflected a kaleidoscopic variety. Jews from Iraq, Yemen, Eastern and Western Europe and the USA were viewed by the founding fathers of the state as deviations from the pioneering ideal, which had to be molded together in an assimilative “melting pot.” In essence, there was a one-sizefits- all identity of a “sabra” that was offered to the new immigrants, in the image of the secular and socialist Ashkenazi elite of the new country. It is fashionable among certain circles to denounce Ben-Gurion for his failed attempt to draw such diverse ethnic communities together to one uniform identity.
However, the contribution of his efforts to the creation of the resilient Israeli democracy must also be acknowledged.